Life x 3 at The Spring Arts & Heritage Centre, Havant

Ballet dancer Jack Hazzard

Ballet helps autistic boy to achieve his full potential as he wins role with a prestigious company

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Life x 3 is another example of Bench Theatre staging productions of the highest calibre.

The minimalist white set that greets the audience put me instantly in mind of Art, Yasmin Reza’s earlier, better known work that the Bench staged in 2006.

Like Art, Life x 3 marries high brow concepts with accessible characters.

The premise is simple – we are treated to three versions of the same evening between two couples.

Sonia and her husband Henry, about to publish important research, and Inez and Hubert Finidori, the latter being an influential astrophysicist. The interloper in each case is Arnaud, Henry and Sonia’s six year old son. His presence, offstage yet constant, is the pin Reza uses to prick her characters’ inflated intellectualism.

It is difficult to give a fig about what the couples talk about, but Reza knows this and uses Arnaud to remind us that, rather than star-gazing, there are real and immediate things around us far more worthy of our attention. Like children and relationships.

But this is not a heavy piece.

The rhythms of the play are managed deftly by director Peter Woodward and the barbed wit is delivered with aplomb by a slick, assured cast.

NATHAN CHAPMAN